Do you ever just think about Monica and Chandler's wedding and want to cry a little bit?
The Pierre Hotel, the rustic Italian feast, the dress - it just makes us so emosh!
You might remember Chandler kindly telling Monica about his savings, which were "enough for Wedding Scenario A". They ended up going for a less fancy option, after Chandler melted Monica's heart with plans for four kids and a cat with a little kitty bell (dog. He meant dog).
It was clear on their faces that they didn't need Wedding Scenario A after all...
Their nuptials ended up perfect, though we never did find out how much they spent on the celebration. One intrepid fan deep-dived into the episode, concluding they DID actually go for "Wedding Scenario B". Here's the evidence...
User 'howyoudoin' (we see what they did there) wrote: ' 1 - Dialogue. At the end of 702, what we remember is Chandler saying to Monica, "I think we should spend all of the money on the wedding." But what we (or I) tend to forget is that after some talking, Monica then says, "No, I want everything you just said. I want a marriage." We tend to forget this because there are instances in later episodes where Chandler remarks on how big their wedding is, and we see in the finale of season 7 and the opening of season 8 that their wedding indeed is huge. So basically IMO it's ambiguous what plan they went with: A, B, or somewhere in between.
2 - Venue
They had the wedding at The Pierre Hotel - pic from 724 here at the 7:40 mark. You can see a faint Phoebe since it fades from the previous scene to this 2-second shot of the Pierre. Here and here (from the Pierre's actual site) is some evidence that that indeed is the facade of the Pierre.
So how much is a typical wedding at The Pierre Hotel? This page from 2005 says that "The average wedding at the Pierre hosts 240 to 350 people and comes in at $375 per person for food and beverage before tax and gratuity." This page from 2011 says "A wedding for a minimum of 200 guests will run the betrothed couple (or a parental "investor") $300, plus tax and 22% service, per person. Then add in about $4010 for staff and additional extras for a wedding this size." This random document with no date I could find says "Pierre brides who invest $60,000 or more in their wedding celebration at the hotel on Central Park will also receive the ultimate wedding gift: a six-night honeymoon at a choice of luxurious Taj hotels in the U.S. or abroad."
From 720 here, you can see that there are 11 tables of 8, which is 88 people. 88 times, say, $400 per person (I'm rounding up from $300 + whatever per person) = $35,200. I honestly don't know if the "minimum of 200 guests" means that the Pierre will only do weddings that are above 200 or that if they do weddings below 200 people, the minimum charge they'll allow you is the equivalent of a 200-person wedding, so somewhere > $60k. But that document sounds like an under $60k wedding is an option, since otherwise, that free honeymoon offer makes no sense. (There must be plenty of people doing it for under $60k, which is why the Pierre wants you to spend a little more in exchange for a free honeymoon stay).
In 723, Chandler says he's "buying dinner for 128 people tomorrow night." 128 X $400 = $51,200.
3 - Food
In 702, there's a bunch of stuff from Wedding Scenario A that Monica lists. The ones I caught are:
-A string quartet for the procession.
-A jazz trio for cocktails.
-Lilies for the centerpieces.
-A rustic Italian feast.
-A custom-made, empire waisted, duchess, satin gown.
I don't remember anything about a "cocktails" event at the wedding... I guess this was for later in the night, which wasn't shown?
In 722, Monica says, "I think I am gonna go with the chicken piccata instead of Cornish game hen." Googling "rustic Italian feast," the first result shows a menu that includes chicken piccata. So what we know is that at that stage when the Cornish game hen was on the menu, the plan was not a rustic Italian feast, which is evidence of her planning for a non-scenario A wedding. Going from that to chicken piccata means...? Honestly, I don't know which guess is better: she is going back to the possibly more expensive rustic Italian feast, or that she's just replacing one item with another so the price may be going up or down. (I feel like Cornish game hen is more expensive than chicken piccata usually, but I have no idea.) But one thing we do know is that she wasn't planning for a rustic Italian feast between 702 and 722.
4 - Music
They did get a string quartet for the procession. There was no serious mention of what band to get for scenario A, so we can't make a judgment on the Swing Kings that they hired. Edit: Actually, in 702, Monica does say that a "swing band" is part of her scenario A.
5 - Wedding Dress
This one is very clear. There was a whole episode devoted to Monica getting a discount off-the-rack dress. In the end, she had to give up that dress, but still, what we know is that at this point, Monica did not intend to get a custom-made dress. I would assume that she continued with that intention until the end.
6 - Centerpieces
From 801. They look like roses. So they could invite cats to the wedding. There's no definitive evidence that roses weren't an option for scenario A since they were still planning for scenario A when Monica asks Chandler "lilies or roses." But what we do know is that lilies definitely were an option for scenario A and Monica wanted them. Also, Phoebe clearly says "Scenario A has lilies."
In conclusion, the wedding they had was not scenario A. (Edit: With the exception of the music they hired, it was a scenario B wedding.) What's surprising is that a 90-person wedding at a luxury hotel can actually cost a lot less than what people were guessing (~100k). I'm sure there are a lot of other costs though that would accumulate. But even the Pierre itself is trying to get its guests to pay more than $60k for a wedding, so obviously going under that is an option. Anyway, good on Monica for following through!
We reckon Monica would be super hyped about the attention to detail here...
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